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Christopher Edley, Maria Mavroudi, and Tyrone Hayes on the challenges facing UC Berkeley

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Introducing Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau

Sept. 2002 - April 2004
Episodes hosted by previous chancellor Robert M. Berdahl


George Strait, Robert Birgeneau

July 27, 2004: Meet Chancellor Birgeneau

topkey  Watch the interview: 31 minutes (Need RealOne Player?)

Robert BirgeneauShortly before his appointment as UC Berkeley's ninth chancellor was made public, Robert J. Birgeneau sat down with George Strait, associate vice chancellor of public affairs, to discuss the long and winding road that seems to have led him inevitably to Berkeley.

He talked about being the first in his family not only to go to college, but to graduate from high school; his involvement in the Civil Rights movement; and his resulting lifelong dedication to ethnic and gender diversity and equality. Looking back on his posts as dean of MIT's School of Science and, most recently, as president of the University of Toronto, Birgeneau described the changes he had tried to effect and identified the challenges he believed UC Berkeley will pose.

Frequently exchanging smiles with his wife, Mary Catherine, who sat in the audience during the show's taping, Berkeley's new chancellor also shared some personal details. He spoke proudly of his four children and their accomplishments, and listed the many things he hopes the couple will have time to sample in the Bay Area — among them the cinema (he's "a big movie buff") and Napa Valley.

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